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Your Guide To Writing Effective Alt Texts

A person pointing at an image in a smartphone with computer in the background

Images are a vital feature for any website. They provide value, make a page simpler to read, and more aesthetically appealing for your viewers. Alt text allows you to describe visual aspects online while also optimizing your content and increasing organic traffic.

However, it all begins with understanding how to write one effectively.

What Is Alt Text?

Alt text is a carefully constructed combination of words that explains the appearance, context, and/or purpose of a picture on a webpage or any other online platform.

Why Is Alt Text Important?

Alt text serves several purposes. If an image on a webpage crashes to load, the alt text will identify what the missing picture was meant to be. It also helps visually impaired visitors who use a screen reader or text-to-speech technology to access digital information since alt text is intended to appropriately explain the photo to the users out loud. Alt text is also indexed by search engine bots to help them better grasp the content of your website, which brings us to our next point.

How Does Alt Text Affect SEO Results?

A man scrolling through his computer for images

When an image is placed on a website, alt text acts as invisible or hidden text that describes the picture. It's an additional approach to improve your SEO results. You can provide search engines with better data to index and rank your content by creating well-written alt text for your photographs. Search bots use alt text to better understand your image, properly index it, and place you in the search engine result ranks. This happens as a result of Google's capability to utilize the alt text in conjunction with the page contents and its algorithms to determine the subject matter of the image.

Additionally, Google can better comprehend the image and your webpage as a whole with this additional text, increasing your likelihood of ranking higher in image search results. Your content will appear not just on search engine results pages but also in image search results, giving users another way to bump into your website.

Alt text can also be used on platforms like WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media for marketing and public relations. You now have the option to add your own customized alt text to photographs.

How To Write Effective Alt Texts?

A woman looking at an image in her laptop to figure out the right alt text to use

It's important to write your alt text as effectively as you can if you wish to obtain excellent results. Here are our guidelines for adding alt text to your images while striving for clarity and relevance :

Be Specific

Now when it comes to alt texts, the more specific the better. Take into account both the image's content and the content of the website it appears on.

Include alt text like "woman is examining her skin in the mirror" if the surrounding text provides instructions on what to do if you have acne.

While doing so, you provide website visitors with a clear sense of what the image is by using minimal words. Additionally, think about the image's function or goal and how to succinctly represent it. In other words, what do you want your visitor to take away from the image?

Sentence Has To Be Legible

Assume a vision-challenged visitor who wants to know what is in a certain photo. They wouldn't enjoy this description of "blue house black dog". However, "a black dog is approaching the blue house" seems more logical and fathomable.

A well-written statement that is understandable by both humans and algorithms makes for the ideal alt text.

Describe The Image, Avoid Pointing It Out

Instead of using the words "picture of" and "image of", directly describe the image. A screen reader would almost certainly state "image of" before or after reading your alt text, which indicates that it is already thought that your alt text is for a picture or image. Avoid wasting limited characters on repetitive words.

Keep It Short

Ensure that your alt text is sufficient to appropriately describe the image and explain its purpose while yet keeping it brief. Longer descriptions with flowery language and unnecessary filler words may distract users of screen readers and confuse search engine crawlers.

Keep in mind that screen readers typically stop reading alt-text descriptions after 125 characters, so be succinct and to the point when you write it.

Check For Spelling Errors

The user experience may be impacted by misspelled terms, leading to confusion and disruptions. They may also prevent search engine robots from indexing your website.

Add Context

Include context that is pertinent to the website's subject. Make use of the alt text to connect a generic picture to your page.

For instance, you may use an alt text that reads "lady searching for a client’s recent document" if the image is of a woman at a desk going through files.

The subject of the webpage will determine how you phrase it. Your alt text combines the image's own information and elements of the content around it.

Avoid Using Too Many Keywords

To improve SEO, add a keyword or phrase to your picture’s alt text. But don't go overboard. Avoid cramming or overusing keywords because it will hurt your ranking.

If a term fits inside that description, utilize it. Otherwise, stay focused on how you may precisely and clearly describe the image. When you utilize a keyword, you can let your audience know why you chose that specific image and how it links to the rest of the text.

Alt text is a basic yet important technique for increasing the accessibility of your content. Now that you know how to write decent alt text, remember to include them in your images to assist your visitors. Enhancing your visual features with descriptive text also provides a better overall customer experience.


Well, aren’t we glad you asked! We at DigiCom are obsessive data-driven marketers pulling from multi-disciplinary strategies to unlock scale. We buy media across all platforms and placements and provide creative solutions alongside content creation, and conversion rate optimizations. We pride ourselves on your successes and will stop at nothing to help you grow.


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